Santa secrets: the stress of unhappy elves, reindeers with fear of heights, and Mrs Claus saying, "no more cookies!"

Santa secrets: the stress of unhappy elves, reindeers with fear of heights, and Mrs Claus saying, "no more cookies!"

He is busy making and delivering presents to children all around the world, but Santa Claus tells us that his big red sack comes filled with its share of heavy burdens

From many descriptions, Santa is a jolly old elf. But these days he’s not as jolly as he used to be. In a shocking confession to Young Post, he revealed why delivering toys to Hong Kong is making him downright miserable.

“Where do I start,” he says, sighing so heavily into the phone you can almost see his breath puff out this side. “Every year it’s getting harder and harder to deliver to kids in Hong Kong.”

We can hear the rustling of papers. “Too many on the naughty list?” we ask.

“Well, no, although CY Leung [Chun-ying] is top of the naughty list,” he says. “But really, look at the place. Do you see any chimneys?”

We have to admit there aren’t any.

“So we’re forced to use lifts – don’t get me started on the walk-ups – and it’s not easy to park the reindeer on those skyscrapers. They might be able to fly but Dasher and Prancer are really afraid of heights.”

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“Things have changed a lot since I first started in this business,” he muses. “But we’ve always tried to keep to tradition. It’s not easy.”

He admits, though, that in a way, technology has made his life easier. “I use GPS now, which cuts out a lot of guesswork. I can get to the kids on the nice list without getting lost.

“And,” he adds, “most kids are so busy looking at their phones that they’re not spending too much time with their eyes on the actual sky, looking for me.”

But again, another polar sigh reaches Young Post HQ.  “There must be many problems with chimneys,” we suggest.

“Yes, yes of course there are. You try landing on a lit fire, or keeping your beard crispy white when you’re surfing through soot. Elevators and escalators are definitely the way to go,” the 1,746-year-old remarks.

“Kids today,” he sighs again, “they like to get a lot of toys, mostly with i in front of them.”

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Speaking of iThings, we asked if Santa had ever thought of outsourcing to Shenzhen.

“Of course,” he laughed. “Those guys in Shenzhen can take a product from plan to sleigh-ready in three days. My elves can’t do that.”

Speaking of elves ... 

“Oh, they have been talking to you, have they? Well, let me tell you something, we’ve always paid our workers with cookie crumbs and eggnog. Really, what else do they need?

“And yes, as the year wears on they do need to work harder and faster, I mean, goodness, d’you know how many children there are now in the world? It used to be that many hadn’t even heard of me, but that’s just one more blessing of the internet! But what else would the elves be doing otherwise? We live at the North Pole.  There isn’t even a Pokestop up here. It’s not like they would be doing anything else.”

“They get all the free magic they can use, they have warm beds and hot chocolate, endless access to mince pies – Mrs Claus makes sure they never go hungry.”

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Speaking of Mrs Claus ...

“My goodness, you people know everything. Yes, yes, she’s forbidden cookies. She says that fat Santas give kids bad role models. So no more cookies for me. Also no more milk. Hundreds of thousands of glasses of milk in one night doesn’t go so well with the old tum, if you know what I mean.”

So what should kids be leaving out next to their trees? 

“I think carrots are always thoughtful. It’s not just about me, you know. The reindeer do a lot of work and, while candy canes and marshmallows certainly make them, er, dash, they seldom get sweet crunchy carrots, so those are really what they enjoy best of all.”
So, about that Hong Kong thing ... 

“Oh you know, it’s not so bad after all. Hong Kong kids are pretty good by most standards, so I would never want to disappoint them.”

Edited by Sam Gusway

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
The stress of being Santa


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